27

SAMSUNG5-3-13     10:12am

27. Mom thinks it’s the magic number, the number when everything clicked. Really, it’s just a number. Although I hear ____ say, “27. Now that was a good year.”

I turned 27 March of this year. It was not a remarkable day – appointment, lunch with Mom, major crash, terrible pain, OCD group. But my mom says something around then changed. She attributes all my recent growth to a number. Figures. She’s been in Texas. Today I feel great. A little dizzy, awake. Change is hard work.

A month or so before my birthday I spent 3 weeks in the hospital (see “Even Dark Clouds Pass.”) When I got out I was still going through it. The time since then has been fireworks. For the first time in years I started an antidepressant. I added structure & a complex schedule. I updated my day list and started using it. It is a list of things I do every day in the morning and evening that I keep in a page protector and check off with a dry erase marker. And I started BrainPaint, which I believe to be the key to my success.

BrainPaint. A simple notion. Painting with your brain. Ha ha! Not so fast, my friend. I paint with my brain indeed. BrainPaint is automated neurofeedback. EEG leads tell the computer what my brain is doing and the computer makes real-time fractals (pictures) and music to guide my brain into the wave pattern it wants. Forget training a dragon. Train your brain!

I’m doing BrainPaint at Healthy Within under Dr. Divya Kakaiya. She determined what areas we could work on. I’m almost through my treatment. I don’t want to stop. I go 3 times a week. I consider it an outpatient program even though it’s not. It’s not all peaches & cream, but BrainPaint saved my life.

I feel tired of writing.

I have 3 pages of what’s changed since BrainPaint that I may choose to share here later. Most notably, I don’t want to die every day anymore. I’m sleeping, brushing my teeth (yay!), and can tolerate being at home. Kinda crazy. I even got my permit. I am blessed that my mom was in Texas for the past month. Without limits or rules or judgement or simply the energy of another person I’ve been able to settle into life, to blossom. I’ve been repotted.

27. I like it.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2013

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I had a birthday recently

3/21/12     1:45pm

I had a birthday recently. I just remembered this. I never responded to the 150 or so posts on FB – not because I’m rude. I just couldn’t deal with it.

It seems I have a birthday every other year. One year of party, one year of hiding. This was supposed to be an on year. My prediction was wrong.

This year I wanted to celebrate being alive, to treasure the gift. It didn’t quite work that way.

(too painful)

Breathe…

Need to sing it or throw it up out of me. My head hurts. The words are backed up in me. About to explode – no sound. I think I should take less Seroquel. Three pounds of water weight in 3 days.

I’m sitting in my yard pulling cattails (the weed). Jenny’s excited to go to Possum Trot with us. I’m second guessing my offer. I am SO tired. SO hurting. I cannot make it rain.

I had a birthday recently, a great lunch with a friend and an entire day’s meltdown. Loud weepy crying spells. I locked myself in the garage, bathroom & car. I smartly went to hear music and unsmartly tried to drink. I had a birthday.

I am now 26. I never celebrated 25. Like it never happened. I don’t want to be 26. I want to be 25. Divisible by five, a nice round number. I don’t like even age numbers. 26 starts the Sex & the City part of life. I don’t own enough pairs of heels. Yet somehow I’m here, sitting barefoot on a towel on my lawn in the shade of shirts on the clothesline pondering my age. I don’t even feel 18.

I don’t want to remember but I hate that I can’t. I see snapshots. Re-experience. The rest is blank. Sometimes I ask people what they remember about me because I can’t. They’re confused. Well, honey, so am I.

Angela (my birthday lunch friend) said she’s been honored to watch me grow through the years into who I am now. Who am I now? I don’t remember. I tried to think of what changed me, something. The only thing in my mind was when I thought I was dying. It really shaped who I am, gave me a platform. I don’t take as much shit anymore. I appreciate. I hold dear. I am more grounded in my work. I feel steady knowing I know my shit and that no one can take that from me.

(pause to freak out about new freckles)

11 years ago yesterday I entered the hospital for the first time. 11 years ago tomorrow there was a shooting at my school. It’s been a long 11 years.

(call from S- to say M- is married. tears.)

I’m tempted to say I’m happy for him, but I’m not. Good people have good people. I’m not one of those people. Why didn’t J- just tell me instead of saying it was crazy, I was crazy? Why not just wear a ring or post it on your FB profile? Much easier. Nothing is easier.

(hear “Do You Love Me?” from Fiddler)

Watching a dizzy ant.
Sometimes crazy doesn’t deserve to be loved.

I would like to throw up my gut. Then maybe I wouldn’t hurt so much.

There is a place in everland.
Fall behind the glass.
Where people fall out of touch.
They lie right on the grass.
Behind the glass
For all to see.

Happily ever after land,
A place that taunts me,
Haunts me.
I watch them go there.
(quiet)

It all falls away.

I had a birthday recently. I’d rather not remember.

(rocking)

© Michelle Routhieaux 2012